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5 Ways Families Can Be More Sustainable and Reduce Waste This Festive Season

The festive season is a time for joy, celebration, and spending quality time with loved ones. However, it's also a period associated with increased waste and environmental impact. This year, why not make a positive change by embracing sustainability and reducing waste? Here are five practical ways for families to be more eco-friendly during the festive season.

Mindful Gift Giving

Instead of opting for excessive gift-giving, focus on quality and thoughtfulness. Consider giving experiences, homemade gifts, or items with a long-lasting impact. You can create personalised, eco-friendly gifts like handcrafted candles, reusable shopping bags, or even potted plants. These gifts not only reduce waste but also carry sentimental value.

Often plastic toys have hazardous chemicals that by time can harm your loved ones therefore give preference to natural materials when buying gifts. For example, buy locally made gifts, give a rental subscription for children’s clothing from Little Renters or wooden toys from Green Leaf Toys.

Eco-Friendly Decorations

When decorating your home, choose sustainable options that can be reused year after year. Invest in durable, eco-friendly decorations made from natural materials or recycled products. You can also get creative with DIY decorations using items you already have at home, like paper, pinecones, or fabric scraps. By doing so, you'll reduce the need for disposable, single-use decorations.

Choosing sustainable Christmas trees can drastically lessen environmental impact. Instead of purchasing a new PVC plastic tree with its substantial carbon footprint, contemplate maximising the lifespan of your current one. Explore eco-conscious options such as acquiring a second-hand tree, renting one, or investing in a sustainable wooden tree to make a positive contribution to a greener festive season.

Avoid buying cheap Christmas crackers from overseas which have plastic trinkets and are often made with glitter. Instead opt for plastic free Christmas crackers as an eco-friendly alternative.

Sustainable Wrapping

Traditional wrapping paper is often not recyclable due to its glossy finish and added dyes. Instead, use alternatives like reusable cloth gift bags, newspapers, or brown paper. Get your family involved in a fun wrapping session, where you can paint (preferable water-based ink to enable recycling afterwards) or decorate the paper or fabric to make it unique and personal. Encourage the recipients to save and reuse the wrapping materials for their gifts. To inspire you to create sustainable hampers see this before & after story.

Minimise Food Waste

The festive season is synonymous with indulgent feasts, but it's also a time when food waste tends to spike. Plan your meals carefully, focusing on what your family will genuinely enjoy. Compost food scraps or donate excess non-perishable items to local food banks. To further reduce waste, consider reusable containers for storing leftovers instead of disposable options.

Sustainable Lighting and Energy

The holiday season often involves decorating homes with twinkling lights and festive displays. To reduce energy consumption, choose LED lights, which are more energy-efficient and longer-lasting. Set timers to control when the lights are on and off to minimise energy usage. Additionally, consider solar-powered outdoor decorations to save on electricity costs.

This festive season, families can embrace sustainable practices to reduce waste and minimise their environmental footprint. By making mindful choices in gift-giving, decorations, wrapping, food management, and energy consumption, you can enjoy the holidays while being eco-conscious. Small changes can make a big difference in creating a greener, more sustainable festive season that aligns with the spirit of giving, gratitude, and love for the planet. So, let's celebrate and protect the Earth together this year!

How are you celebrating more sustainably?

 

Written by Kathrin Baumann, Founder of Little Renters, and Renata Daudt, Packaging & Recycling Specialist and Founder of AWEN Packaging Consulting

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